2010 US National Criterium Champion Daniel Holloway Wins UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons

Vancouver, BC – A year ago, Team UnitedHealthcare swept the podium at the UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons. So with the UHC team returning this year, it’s no surprise it had a major target on its back.

Just three days ago at the Boise Twilight Criterium in Idaho, Daniel Holloway was able to hold off three members of UnitedHealthcare to get the win there, and he was able to do the same at the 30-lap, 48 kilometre fifth edition of the UBC Grand Prix on Tuesday night.

“It’s not just me, I’ve got AltoVelo-SeaSucker taking care of me all race and with equipment, and everything else. It’s not just me who’s participating in the adventure, it’s my team that has set it up so I can be the face and today, it was super hard,” the 28-year-old from Morgan Hill, California explained. “I don’t think anyone was able to get organized with six guys and I think today was just easier to have two of us – we could really move around, stay together, really save a lot of energy. The race was so hard, this is just a shock to the legs after travelling from Boise. I’m a little surprised, I just kind of wanted an opener for Gastown tomorrow, but I couldn’t have had it any better.””

Coming second was Calgary’s Kris Dahl of Team SmartStop, who won the 2014 U23 Canadian National Championships Individual Time Trial, while Sam Bassetti out of Santa Rosa, California and riding with iRT Racing, finished third. Holloway and teammate Aldo Ino Illesic, who came in eighth, worked together perfectly to set up the win.

“He just said ‘patient, patient, patient’ and we sagged, then climbed about every other lap to save legs and then he just had the perfect line all the way around the course. I just trusted him on that and he delivered me perfect. He came into the final corner so fast – scared me a little – I had a gap, Kris came underneath me and it ended up being pretty perfect because it forced him to do a really long sprint and I could take about six pedal strokes, relax and then accelerate just out of the roundabout,” said Holloway.

Dahl is the only member of Team SmartStop to start this year’s UBC Grand Prix, and he was refreshingly honest about what he thought his chances were.

““With UHC and AltoVelo and all those guys, and me being by myself, I wasn’t too sure of my chances in the sprint. I figured I might as well hit out and see what I could make happen,” said Dahl, who is a multiple Top-10 finisher at BC Superweek in the past and a fan of the new course at UBC. “The course is not bad, I’m more of a power rider, I’m a little heavier, so a climb is nice that’s just not too big and this is about perfect.”

With a course that was markedly different from the previous four years of the UBC Grand Prix, it was an adjustment for those who didn’t know what to expect. The course doesn’t even really represent a typical criterium.

“I like this kind of course, something that’s hard, and something that rewards fitness,” said Bassetti, a sixth place finisher in Saturday’s Brenco Criterium. “So for me, this kind of sprint suits me and good, hard course where the pure sprinters maybe aren’t quite as good normally. That’s the type of course that I like.”

The race was forced to be restarted after a crash occurred just two laps in, which caused more than half the field to tumble less than 100 metres past the start/finish line. There were no serious injuries as a result of the crash.

BC Superweek is Canada’s biggest professional road cycling series and features more than $120,000 in prize money available during eight races over nine days. BC Superweek runs from July 10 – 18, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 10, 11, 12), UBC Grand Prix p/b Mahony & Sons (July 14), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 15), Giro di Burnaby p/b Appia Development (July 16) and Beverley by Cressey presents Tour de White Rock (July 17, 18).